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Additional inspections for historic Port Talbot bridge as further deterioration found

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Neath Port Talbot Council engineers are currently carrying out additional inspections of Port Talbot’s 118-year-old Newbridge Road Bridge which was closed to vehicles in 1972 and then to all users in 2016.

It follows the discovery of further deterioration of the bridge by specialist conservation engineers commissioned by the council to examine possible repair or refurbishment options.

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Recognising the importance of the bridge to the local community, the council and local councillors have been taking steps to look at the future of the bridge and cycle path since it had to be fully closed for public safety reasons in 2016. 

Funding was allocated towards a detailed structural appraisal and study of the bridge in 2018 which confirmed the poor condition of the central span and deck of the structure.

It was while the study was continuing earlier this month that the further deterioration of a main girder on the bridge was discovered by Consulting Engineers Mann Williams, who specialise in conservation.

Work is now taking place to install access gates to gain better access for engineers to examine the extent of the deterioration, which is thought to be due to corrosion.

Newbridge Road Bridge (Image: Geograph)

The structure has a Grade II listing from the Welsh Government’s conservation arm Cadw as an example of an ‘unusually detailed’ plate girder bridge. Its status as a listed structure means traditional materials and methods should be used wherever possible in any repairs or refurbishment.

It was closed to vehicles in 1972 by a previous authority due to safety concerns and the age of the bridge.

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Neath Port Talbot Council say that work is continuing on monitoring the structure and further updates will be issued as more information becomes available.

(Lead image: Sean Pursey)

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Antony Williams

    24th November 2021 at 12:30 am

    Why not put a footbridge nearby for ease of access to port talbot centre via the existing cycle / walking track ?

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randall.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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Port Talbot

Port Talbot scaffolder jailed for heading-up drug gang

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A Port Talbot scaffolder has been jailed for 12 years for heading up a drugs gang.

Three men, who were part of the organised crime group which sold illegal drugs, were jailed for a total of 23 years after an 18-month long Police investigation.

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Operation Formby is an investigation conducted by South Wales Police Force Intelligence & Organised Crime Unit into the drug trafficking activities of Daniel Baker and his gang.

Daniel Baker, aged 30 from Sandfields, Port Talbot, was the head of the organised crime group involved in trafficking Class A Cocaine and Class B Ketamine throughout the South Wales region, and in the Oxfordshire area of England.

His connections with Oxfordshire were through his legitimate scaffolding employment.

He was arrested at his home address on August 18, 2021, where he was found in possession of a significant quantity of Class B Ketamine, a firearm and in excess of £44,000 cash.

The investigation uncovered that Baker had been supplying Cocaine since at least 2016 and had been using various individuals to collect debts on his behalf, collect and courier the drugs for him, and other individuals to supply both Cocaine and Ketamine on his behalf.

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Baker and his gang were proven to have supplied 1kg of Cocaine between 2015 and 2018 and a further 9kg between May 2021 and August 2021. The 10 kilograms of Cocaine would have had an estimated street value of between £1.1 million and £1.4 million.

The co-defendants convicted in the conspiracy to supply Cocaine with Daniel Baker were Steven Hughes, age 46, from Abercynon and Mark Lapper, age 41, from East Hanney, Oxfordshire.

The three appeared at Swansea Crown Court today (Monday 9 May 2022).

Daniel Baker pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine, Possession with intent to supply Class B Ketamine and Possession of a s.5 Firearm. Baker was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Steven Hughes pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine and Possession of Class B Cannabis. Hughes was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

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Mark Lapper pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine. Lapper was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings are now ongoing in relation to these individuals to recover assets realised as a result of their drug trafficking activities.

Detective Inspector Russ Jenkins from the Force Intelligence & Organised Crime Unit said: “Organised Crime Groups such as these have continued to operate within our local communities and have been brazen in their activities and believed they are beyond the reach of law.

“Our investigators have worked tirelessly, and continue to utilise all opportunities available, to investigate these offences and successfully prosecute those involved.

“The continued success of these operations provides reassurance and confidence to the communities of South Wales.”

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(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Morriston

Port Talbot man named as victim in fatal Cwmrhydyceirw motorcycle crash

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The rider of a motorcycle who died in a road traffic collision close to Morriston Hospital in Cwmrhydyceirw has been named as Syed Asim Ali Shah, 26, from Port Talbot.

The accident took place at around 7.25pm on Tuesday 3 May and involving a white Kawasaki ZX900 and a black Audi A3.

Mr Shah, who was known to family and friends as “Asim” died at the scene of the accident when he was riding his motorcycle.

His friends and family paid tribute to him, describing him as a “truly unique character” and a “gentle giant” who was strong willed and determined.

“He was always happy and cheerful regardless of any situation” his family said in a tribute released by South Wales Police.

“He was an infectious individual, and you’d never forget him after meeting him.

“Asim was the kindest most loving individual anyone would meet, he was caring, funny and the life of the party. He would have a way with people to always make them laugh and smile.

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“He leaves behind his darling partner Ocean and their one-year-old daughter Iyla. Asim loved both so dearly.

“He leaves behind his loving parents Nigar and Qadim Shah and his auntie, Parveen. His amazing brothers Munawar, Afaq, Aamir and Azan, his sister-in-law Fareah and lifelong friend Kawsar Hussain.

“He will be sorely missed by not only his family but his huge loving friendship group and the whole community of Port Talbot Mosque. He will be truly missed, and we pray for strength to get through this horrific time.”

South Wales Police is continuing to appeal appeal for witnesses to the Heol Maes Eglwys collision.

The road was closed for several hours whilst investigation work was carried out.

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Officers want to speak to any witnesses to the collision, anyone who may have dash camera footage of the incident or who witnessed the manner of driving of any of the vehicles prior to the collision.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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